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"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”. Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars who influence others to listen themselves."
Find your Little Voice

women

International Day of the Girl

Today marks the 2016 International Day of the Girl!

CANADA KNOWS
#GIRLSBELONGHERE

Girls and women belong in the seats of classrooms, boardrooms, courtrooms, and press rooms. They belong on the playing field, in the director’s chair, everywhere decisions are made, and anywhere else they choose.

With today’s inspiring day coming to an end, Little Voice wanted to share a short story with you to remind every little girl that anything is possible!

When I first set out to publish Little Voice, I was rejected by publishers and ignored by literary agents. I almost gave up on a goal I always hoped to accomplish because I was made to believe that I did not have what it takes to publish my story. While I had dared to dream big, I quickly saw that society sometimes automatically makes women and young girls shrink their ideas in fear of failure. I decided to push fear aside and chase after my dream regardless of the odds placed before me. Two years later, I have not only surpassed my expectations for Little Voice but I have created a movement that inspires others and supports my community. What a lot people don’t know is that I am not only an author but also a public servant. While I continue to pursue Little Voice on evenings and weekends, and everywhere in between, I am also pursuing a career in government. I believe that young girls and women have the right to decide for themselves where they belong – in government or anywhere else. I have worked extremely hard to become a leader not only in my community, not only in the charities I support, but also within the Government of Canada. I hope to serve as an example to many young girls all across our country, from coast to coast to coast, that women can be exceptional leaders. I am thankful to know many women who have mentored me and supported my growth in and outside of government. Together, we can lift each other up and show the world that #GirlsBelongHere! There may not be enough examples of women in leadership, women in politics, women CEOs, etc… but that should never stop you from filling that void. Be a trailblazer and show the rest of the world why women can and will make a difference!- Amanda Bernardo

“Each generation of women has a responsibility to the next one. What we do pass on has an impact on generations of women to come. Let’s make sure we pass on rights of equality, strength and quality. The current generation of young women seem to able to do just that and much more!”

Learn how you can get involved with #BecauseIamAGirl by visiting Plan International Canada today!

When you rally behind a girl the whole world wins!

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My First Glimpse at the Dream, Girl Film

After watching the Dream, Girl film for the first time, I cannot even put into words how moved I am! When I first saw the Kickstarter campaign for this film, it was the mention of a little voice inside us all that caught my attention. I watched the trailer and thought to myself, this is 100% me two years ago.

I saw myself in this film, a young woman with a dream of publishing her own book, inspiring the next generation and making a difference in her community. I understood the struggle and hurdles these women talked about and understood how difficult it was to start my own business. But when I set out to chase my dream, it was hard to see examples of other women doing the same. I had to search for it.

Fast forward and I am so happy that a young woman, who I don’t even know, followed her own little voice and, after searching for what I had desperately sought when I was starting my own business, found it. Not only did she find it, she filmed it, produced it and now is sharing it to inspire us all!

I may not have been part of the creation of this film, and like me, many of you have not either, but the beautiful thing about this movie is that while none of us were part of it, our stories are all inside it. The story of women leaders, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The story of our struggles, our dreams, our hurdles and fears. The story of feeling like we want to give up and the story of beating all odds and chasing our dream!

So, while Little Voice and Dream, Girl were created at different times and in different parts of the world, one thing they have in common is a message that reminds us all to listen to our little voice and dream big! If I can support another woman in sharing that message, you can certainly bet I will!

I cannot wait to share this film with everyone this Sunday at the Dream Big Dream, Girl Luncheon!

– Amanda, author of Little Voice

‪#‎DreamBIG‬

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Dream Big this June with Startup Canada’s Victoria Lennox

As we prepare for our upcoming luncheon this June, we are extremely excited to announce our closing guest speaker Victoria Lennox!

The Dream, Girl Luncheon is an amazing opportunity to unite women entrepreneurs in our community, while inspiring the next generation to chase their own entrepreneurial dream.

Women are starting companies every single day. They are breaking through barriers, taking on challenges, making a difference in our communities, and fighting for equal rights and equal pay! It’s hard to ignore how far women have come and so, rather than ignore it, we here at Little Voice in partnership with the Dream, Girl film want to PROMOTE it!

If you have it in your heart that you want to build your own company, don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

The Dream, Girl Luncheon will include a special screening of the Dream, Girl film, a film that focuses on the stories of women entrepreneurs. In addition to the women we will meet on screen, we also wanted to introduce you to some pretty amazing women right here in our own backyard.

Victoria Lennox Headshot - Recent (6)When we think of entrepreneurship in Canada, it’s pretty hard not to think of Startup Canada. Victoria Lennox is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. She is recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture, governance, development and implementation; and, in fuelling entrepreneurship movements and awareness campaigns.

She is also the first Canadian and one of the youngest recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. As a student at the University of Oxford, Victoria won the award for having pioneered a grassroots youth entrepreneurship movement in the UK called NACUE. Today NACUE is central to the UK’s youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, supporting more than 55,000 higher education students and graduates across more than 100 institutions.

On the global stage, Victoria is a strong leader. As the catalyst for Startup Generation and host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports and mentors the development of youth enterprise organisations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organisations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities. Countries around the world are also working to emulate Startup Canada’s methodologies and activities, viewing the organization, under Victoria’s leadership, as the best practice in fuelling entrepreneurship culture.

Entrepreneurship has proved to be a catalyst for economic growth in many countries. Equally as important is the critical role that women play in the growth of an economy.

We are very excited to have Victoria Lennox join the Dream Big Dream, Girl team and are confident that her experiences and knowledge will serve to benefit all those in attendance! 

 

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Dream Big on June 5th with the Honourable Catherine McKenna

It is with great pleasure that Little Voice introduces the Honourable Catherine McKenna as one of our Dream Big Dream, Girl guest speakers!

Canada is blessed with many great female leaders. They remind the next generation of women and young girls that any person, male or female, can lead. They serve as an example of opportunity, change, and equality. More importantly, they teach us that anything is possible and that anyone, anywhere, is capable of dreaming big!

As a woman, our careers and our families are often times put at odds with one another. We have fought for decades for equal opportunity, equal pay and rights that allow us to be committed to our careers and families.

mckenna-catherineAs a female leader, Catherine McKenna made it clear that she’s very committed to her career and her family. They’re not competing, they’re working in harmony. She’s making work-life balance part of the conversation. 

We are very excited to have Catherine join us to share, with a room filled of women entrepreneurs, philanthropists and dreamers, how important work-life balance is when considering your dreams.

Get ready to dream big on June 5th with Little Voice and Dream, Girl!


Who is Catherine McKenna?

Catherine McKenna has practiced law at leading firms in both Canada and Indonesia, focusing on international trade, competition, investment and constitutional issues. She was senior counsel on the Right Honourable Antonio Lamer’s review of Canada’s military justice system. She was also senior negotiator with the UN mission in East Timor which culminated in the Timor Sea Treaty providing for the joint exploitation of petroleum resources in a part of the Timor Sea claimed by East Timor and Australia.

Catherine co-founded and was Executive Director of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, a charitable organization that engages in the developing world and Canada in the areas of good governance, rule of law, environmental issues and human rights. In Canada, Canadian Lawyers Abroad has partnered with environmental NGOs and organizations representing Aboriginal peoples. Catherine also served as the Executive Director of the Banff Forum that engages emerging Canadian leaders in critical public policy discussions. Prior to that, she taught at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and was a board member at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

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A Sneak Peek of the Dream, Girl Film

I couldn’t be more proud of these women and the amazing work they are doing to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

I am so excited to be bringing the Dream, Girl film to Ottawa for its first screening on June 5th and I am certain that together, with Komal Minhas & Erin Bagwell’s film, we will be able to inspire all those in attendance to dream BIG!

If you’ve been holding off on your dream and doubting whether you can make it happen, put all of that aside and join us on June 5th for a chance to rekindle that fire within and take that first step towards accomplishing your dream!

It wasn’t too long ago that someone told me I didn’t have what it takes to publish and manage my own children’s book … but I listened to my little voice and over a year later have sold 1000 copies of my book and have donated close to $4000 to the Alzheimer Society! Now it’s your turn to listen to your little voice and show the world what you are capable of!

Tickets available now until May 20, 2016!

Be sure to watch the video below for a sneak peek of the first 3 minutes of the film!

 

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Introducing Grace Lachance to the DREAM BIG Team

Little Voice is extremely excited and honoured to announce our closing artist for the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon:

Grace Lachance

From Stittsville, Ontario, Grace Lachance is a 15-year-old singer-songwriter.  Since her debut performance at the age of 10, Grace has stood on stages from Ottawa to Montreal and Toronto.

In 2015, Grace was the winner of Bluesfest’s nationwide contest “She’s The One”. She’s been actively performing around the city and working in the studio for her upcoming release.

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Introducing our Latest Dream, Girl – Tammy Laverty

With our countdown now underway to the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon, we are thrilled to announce the newest member of our team:

Tammy Laverty

“I am very excited to add another inspiring woman from our community to the Dream Big Dream, Girl roster. It goes without saying that there are so many women within Ottawa, and around the world, who do amazing things each and every day! I am thankful that this event will be able to bring together some of these women in order to inspire the next generation!” – Amanda Bernardo

Tammy

Tammy will not only be introducing our opening guest speaker Peggy Taillon, but will also be sharing with us her own personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease.

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An Open Letter in Support of the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon

Hello,

My name is Amanda Bernardo and I am a local Ottawa author and advocate for both the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa/Renfrew County and Canada.Two years ago, I set out to write
a story I hoped would inspire all those who would read it. Along the way, I realized I was also creating a platform where I could create real change in my community and in the lives of
all those my story would touch.

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In creating this platform, I began promoting a positive movement that would inspire people to listen to their little voice; a voice that would encourage them to be proud of who they are and capable of accomplishing anything! I began working closely with local schools and
organizations, such as CHEO, the Boys and Girls Club and the Proud to be Me Foundation, by donating books and providing inspirational talks.

In sharing my story, I also knew early on that I wanted to tell a story that I felt was not told
nearly enough. This story, unlike my own, is one where our little voice is forgotten, where the memories that make up the sum of our life story are stripped away and the loved ones that are left behind are suddenly strangers. This is a story that we refer to now a day as Alzheimer’s disease. In my attempt to tell this story, I created the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project;
a project that donates a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, a cause I hold extremely dear to my heart and have pursued in honour of my grandmother.

As a passionate volunteer in my community, I wanted my movement to not only teach
kids about themselves but also about the importance of giving back and helping others, whatever the cause may be. 

This upcoming June, I am hosting an event that will promote each of these stories, with a
special focus on inspiring women and young girls in our community. The event is a special screening of the soon to be released film “Dream, Girl”, a documentary whose producer comes from our very own nation’s capital. The film’s mission is to share the stories of amazing female entrepreneurs, from brand new startups to million dollar industries, in order to inspire the next generation of leaders. Proceeds from this event will also go towards supporting the 2016 #WalkForAlzheimers!

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The film’s world premiere will be this May in New York City, with special screenings that will
follow shortly after in Canada and the United States. When I first watched the “Dream, Girl”
trailer, I knew I wanted to be part of this movement and share this inspirational message
with others. The film brings to light the importance of teaching young girls and women
that they too can become leaders:

“Any person, male or female, could be a leader. Anyone is capable, it just so happen
for us [women] it’s more complicated. I hope for us this is the generation that changes because I think that it’s time for change.”

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2T4j1aTa4A%5B/embedyt%5D

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2015: Making the Little Moments Count

2015 was definitely a game changer

Little Voice was first thought up in 2013, published in late 2014 and a movement by 2015. 2015 was the year we officially launched our story, our movement and our fundraising efforts. It’s the year where everything slowly began to take shape.

It all started with a major push right here in our community. Though I’ve always had a entrepreneurial bug within me, this was my first time setting out and branding an entire movement, managing an entire production, and ultimately publishing a story. I didn’t always know what direction I would take; I didn’t always get the answers I wanted; but I never ever gave up. I trusted my own little voice to guide me and sure enough, every little step I took proved to be one step closer in the right direction.

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Introducing Peggy Taillon to the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon

On June 5th, 2016, Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo is hosting a special inspirational luncheon!

The Dream Big, Dream Girl inspirational luncheon will invite women and young girls in our community to network together, support an amazing cause and witness an inspirational screening of the film Dream, Girl. It will also include an amazing opening speaker we are so thrilled to have on board!

Today, Little Voice would like to introduce you to the Dream Big Dream, Girl opening guest speaker: Peggy Taillon.

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Peggy is the President of the Bruyère Foundation. She embraces this opportunity with a passion for its important mission and a deep respect for its rich past and many accomplishments. Integrity, diversity and inclusiveness are hallmarks of her leadership. A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Peggy has led one of Canada’s longest established organizations the Canadian Council on Social Development, influencing public policy and the changing landscape for the third sector in Canada over the last several years. Prior to the CCSD, Peggy served as senior vice-president at The Ottawa Hospital, and previously led Ontario’s Mental Health Implementation Task Force, a sweep- ing reform process. Peggy served as an Advisor to the Minis- ter of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier on the implementation of Ontario’s Regional Health Authorities, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), along with a number of other major health reform processes. Today she sits on the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and is co-chair to the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Health under the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Peggy has a long established track record in fund development and philanthropy, raising funds for a number of health partners in the region and across Canada. A dynamic and compelling public speaker, Peggy is often called upon to present on the health and wellbeing of Canada’s most vulnerable, and issues of gender, race, human rights, social development and inequality. A recent example is the unique invitation to present a TedTalks in July 2015. A proud Canadian, Peggy believes we can create a strong, resilient and caring nation that values the well-being and contributions of all of its citizens.

Peggy founded the HERA Mission of Canada in 2008, a foundation that supports women leading development projects empowering widows, children and grandmothers in Western Kenya. Through this work, Peggy honors the community where her son Devlin was born. She is the recipient of CTV’s Amazing People Award 2012 for changing adoption laws in Kenya that enabled her to bring her son home to Canada and her Hera Mission work. CTV’s W5 profiled her journey in Kenya in The Love of a Child which aired on March 8, 2014 – International Women’s Day. Over 1.2 million viewers across Canada and beyond tuned in or watched online, with many more since then. Most recently, Peggy received Ontario’s 2015 Leading Women, Building Communities Award.

Originally from the small northern Ontario town of South Porcu- pine, Peggy was educated in Toronto and Ottawa and holds degrees in Social Work and Law, as well as advanced diplomas in mediation and negotiation.

We are very lucky to have Peggy as our opening speaker and look forward to hearing her at our event!

Get your tickets today by registering here!

Interested in sponsoring the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon? Download our sponsorship letter here.

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